Alcohol – How does it really affect us?*

Wednesday, 8 March 2017, By Dan Roitman

Whether it's a Friday night dinner, Saturday night out with some mates, or just a night at home watching our favourite show, many of us enjoy a drink or two to relax at the end of the day. The question is, how much are those few drinks affecting us, and what result does it have in the long run?

Alcohol by itself isn't as bad as it seems as long as we don't go overboard. However most of the time when we consume it we have either far too much of it, or the foods we eat while consuming alcohol aren't the best choices. This usually leads to an excessive amount of carbohydrates and/or fats being eaten. This is why some people argue that having one or two drinks a night isn't a bad habit. What they don't take into consideration is the food they eat with the alcohol and the macronutrients in that food. The most important factor to remember with alcohol is that it is a toxin, meaning our bodies will prioritise the breakdown and removal of the alcohol. While this is happening, our bodies won't use any other source of energy so, if we consume any excess and poor quality carbohydrates or fat-laden foods during this time they will likely be directly stored in the body.

The easiest way to get around making poor food choices while drinking is to simply not have those poor choices available or, to make sure we have a ready meal that is healthy and low in carbohydrates and fats. This allows us to have a few drinks without having to worry about the excessive consumption of energy from our food. Another great idea is to have an accelerator day either the day before or after we plan on drinking, this way we can deplete our body of carbohydrates before we drink.

As we all have experienced before, hangovers are our bodies' way of telling us we had too much to drink last night. What they don't mean is that all of the alcohol is now out of our system and is no longer affecting us. This means that even though we may have been asleep, our body is still trying to break down the remaining alcohol in our system, before moving on to burn a different source of energy. Therefore, having a healthy breakfast the following morning is just as important for us to not over consume our macronutrients.



*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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